Updating The Political Campaign Playbook

Political campaigns can be changed to reflect the latest best practices of marketers. Marketing has increasingly become an effort to connect with customers at an earlier point in their decision-making process.

I look at how political campaigns are run and compare that effort to get out the vote, to the methods of business to business marketing that aren’t always effective.

If you are selling customers just before the customer purchases. You’ve already lost the opportunity to convince the customer to choose your product.

Today marketers understand how buyers purchase by conducting extensive research on buyers. The buyers are split into different groups dependent upon how the buyers purchase products. The purchase process is called the buyer’s journey. Content is created for each stage of the journey, not only at the purchase stage. The journey consists of the following stages:

  1. Consideration – At this point, the buyer may not even be thinking they need to make a change, but it’s how they get to that point.
  2. Research – The buyer is actively engaged in deciding, and today, a lot of that effort is the buyer doing their own research. With peers, family, and colleagues.
  3. Purchase – As it suggests the buyer purchases.
  4. Post purchase – Does the customer become an advocate, buy more. This stage is tough for most companies as marketing is often focused on the stages right up to purchase.

Political campaigning appears to consist of contacting voters right before they are going to make their vote. At a time when the opposition, the competition is also heavily active.

What if we spent more time on the consideration and research stage of the voter decision stage of the process, and less on frantically trying to get people to vote at the vote stage?

Many marketers have concluded that focusing on the purchase stage loses a lot of opportunity in making sales.

I’m coming to the same conclusion about campaigning. If you want to get out the vote, Democrats need to be creating content for each stage of the voter journey.

Using the Voter Journey Method

Here are a few ideas about incorporating the current methods for marketing into campaigning.

  • Research the voters, split them into different groups based on how they make their decision. This involved talking to voters.
  • Create messaging and content that meets the needs of each stage of the buyer journey. Most content I receive from political organizations consists of bashing the other side and then making a request for money. It’s ineffective and just turns voters off. Instead provide content that answers voter questions about issues they are interested in.
  • Continue your get out the voter efforts, but by doing a better job of campaigning before the election your efforts should be more targeted and effective on the day.
  • Continue to engage voters beyond the election, this is often the most important time. If you want to keep your voters onboard create content and engagement that keeps them voting for you.